Good news! You’ve gotten a call back for an interview. Now you’ve got to do your homework so that you’re prepared for the coming Q&A. But how can you adequately prepare when you don’t know what’s coming?
It helps to have a handle on the possibilities. Joshua Bjerke of Recruiter.com wrote recently about the most common types of interviews. If it’s been a while since your last interview, you may not have encountered some of these interview styles. Brush up now and sleep easier before the big day!
- The Traditional Interview: This is the commonest variety, the one nearly all of us are familiar with. You sit down with one person, answer several questions about your experience and strengths to give the interviewer an idea of your fit for the position.
- The Phone Interview: This method is often used to screen a large number of candidates ahead of the traditional interview. Prepare for this as you would a “real” interview, since impressing the voice on the other end of the line is the only way you’re getting to the next phase.
- The Video Interview: This is similar to the phone interview, only you’re connecting with the interviewer by way of a Web conference application such as Skype. This option still allows you to respond from the comfort of your own home, but you’d better put on your game face and look professional. You can be SEEN, after all.
- The Case Interview: This involves responding to a hypothetical (or real-world) business problem, situation or challenge. The case interview is intended to give the interviewer an idea of your reasoning, analytical, communication and problem-solving skills. Asking questions to gather more information about the problem at hand is fair game.
- The Puzzle Interview: This variety is often used by highly competitive companies. Interviewers pose puzzle questions, such as “How many ping pong balls can fit in this room?” to gauge how well a candidate can think on his or her feet. Much more important than accuracy is demonstrating how you arrived at your answer. What’s also being assessed is your ability to work through unpredictable challenges.
- The Lunch Interview: If you’re asked to a lunch interview, be encouraged! You’re probably already considered a strong candidate. This is meant to be an informal meeting and is most often reserved for top candidates. This variety is meant to give the interviewer a peek at your social skills and demeanor outside of the office.
- The Apprentice Interview: The working interview, if you will. You’ll be asked to handle actual job tasks so that the hiring manager can see how you perform in real time. This brings to mind the old adage about actions speaking louder than words…
- The Team Interview: A bit more nerve-wracking, this interview is conducted by a panel. You’ll be responding to questions from several people, and you should aim to make positive, lasting impressions on each person.